Long-standing multiple sclerosis neurodegeneration: volumetric magnetic resonance imaging comparison to Parkinson's disease, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, and elderly healthy controls

Neurobiol Aging. 2020 Jun;90:84-92. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.02.002. Epub 2020 Feb 8.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) exhibits neurodegeneration driven disability progression. We compared the extent of neurodegeneration among 112 long-standing MS patients, 37 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, 34 amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) patients, 37 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, and 184 healthy controls. 3T MRI volumes of whole brain (WBV), white matter (WMV), gray matter (GMV), cortical (CV), deep gray matter (DGM), and nuclei-specific volumes of thalamus, caudate, putamen, globus pallidus, and hippocampus were derived with SIENAX and FIRST software. Аge and sex-adjusted analysis of covariance was used. WBV was not significantly different between diseases. MS had significantly lower WMV compared to other disease groups (p < 0.021). Only AD had smaller GMV and CV when compared to MS (both p < 0.001). MS had smaller DGM volume than PD and aMCI (p < 0.001 and p = 0.026, respectively) and lower thalamic volume when compared to all other neurodegenerative diseases (p < 0.008). Long-standing MS exhibits comparable global atrophy with lower WMV and thalamic volume when compared to other classical neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Deep gray matter; MRI; Multiple sclerosis; Neurodegeneration; Parkinson’s disease; Thalamus; Whole brain atrophy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Atrophy
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Female
  • Healthy Aging / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology*
  • Organ Size
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology*
  • Thalamus / diagnostic imaging
  • Thalamus / pathology